2019 Lexus IS 300

#122
in Midsize sedans
2019 MODEL
$38,560 - $43,805 See Inventory Prices

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Detailed Review

First refreshed in 2017, the Lexus IS is a chic sedan with style oozing out from every mile traveled. There is enough power and strong driving prowess to become an ideal workaday ride. Elements on the interior feel premium and competitive to any German sedan in the class. Then again Lexus is backed with its fair resale value which had earned it an army of stalwarts, dedicated to the brand. This year the car is entitled to minor updates on the tech side like software updates improved engine response, LED headlights, Amazon Alexa-integrated voice commands and more.

Lexus IS 300 competes in the entry-level luxury market. The competition is high and just delivering a decent car is not enough to compete. Lexus has to take on big names like Mercedes Benz C Class, Kia Stinger, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Infiniti Q50. This might seem like a gentlemen’s duel but it’s actually a dogfight as almost every adversary is bring something new this year.

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Pros

Impressive handling

Striking exterior and interior styling

Good fuel economy numbers

Rich Standard feature list

Cons

The V6 is a little disappointing

What's New?

Amazon Alexa-integrated Voice Command


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$38310

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu. in.

horsepower

241 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1650 rpm

transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

four wheel ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.2 in.

length

184.3 in.

width

71.3 in.

height

56.3 in.

curb weight

3583 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

39.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

41 cu ft.

payload capacity

1047 lbs.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/26/30 mpg

highway range

522 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

no


Ratings

Features

7.0

Interior

6.5

Comfort

8.0

Driving

7.0

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Lexus IS 300 Base

Base

power
260 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
21 combined

$38,560 - $41,010


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $38,560 MSRP (21 mpg/26/30 mpg) 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
8-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 5
4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $41,010 MSRP (19 mpg/21/26 mpg) 260 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

 2019 Lexus IS 300 F SPORT

F SPORT

power
260 @ 6600
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
21 combined

$41,755 - $43,805


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $41,755 MSRP (21 mpg/26/30 mpg) 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
8-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 5
F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $43,805 MSRP (19 mpg/21/26 mpg) 260 @ 6600, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Top Lexus Cars

2017 Lexus RC 200t
9.5/10

Engine: 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 26 combined

2017 Lexus RX 350
8.3/10

Engine: 295 hp @ 6300 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 23 combined

2017 Lexus GS 350
8.7/10

Engine: 311 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 22 combined

2018 Lexus GS 350
8.3/10

Engine: 311 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 22 combined

2018 Lexus RX 450h hybrid
8.8/10

Engine: 308 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 30 combined

2017 Lexus RX 450h hybrid
8.8/10

Engine: 308 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 30 combined

2018 Lexus GS 300
8.1/10

Engine: 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 26 combined

2017 Lexus ES 350
8.6/10

Engine: 268 hp @ 6200 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 24 combined


Expert Review


CARHP Editorial February 28, 2019

7.1

Overall Rating


7.0/10
Features

 

6.5/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lexus IS 300 Priced at $40,660, the 2019 Lexis IS is backed with a 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 engine mated to an 8 speed- automatic transmission. The powertrain musters 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The handling is fair with but not that bright and the power delivered is linear without the pedal being touchy.

2019 Lexus IS 300 Features

7.0/10

Admired as Lexus's entry-level luxury the IS 300 is a compact luxury sedan starting from the base price of $38,310. The IS family offer 2 trims IS 300 and IS 300F Sport further divided into Rear-wheel-drive and All-wheel-drive. There are 2 engine options available with the RWD backed by the 2L Turbo I4 engine and the AWD receiving the 3.5L V6 engine. If we talk about features the car is bequeathed to a lot of them.

The standard feature list includes features like a 7-inch infotainment system, LED headlamps, a moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels and synthetic leather upholstery, which is quite a deal when you look at the price. On the other hand, the F Sports package adds the goodness of adaptive dampers, upgraded front seats, silver-finish interior, a digital gauge cluster and more. And the fun doesn't end here, add in the Premium package to get a 10.3-inch infotainment screen, 15-speaker Levinson audio system, leather seats, and a lot of other features.

Trim

Is 300 RWD

Is 300 AWD

Is 300f sport

Is 300f sport AWD

MSRP

$38,310

$40,760

$ 41,505

$ 43,555

Key Features

Standard Features-

Same features as the IS 300

All features on the IS 300 plus the f sports package with the following features-

Same as IS 300 F Sport AWD

 

17-inch wheels

 

F sports 18-in split-five-spoke alloy wheels with summer tires

 
 

LED headlights

 

F sports suspension tuning

 
 

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

LFA-inspired instrumentation

 
 

Power-adjustable front seats

 

F sport bolstered heated and ventilated front seats

 

We Recommend-

We recommend you to go with the base IS 300 just make sure to tag in the premium package which adds Blind Spot monitor, heated and ventilated seats, Electrochromic Outside mirrors and more.

2019 Lexus IS 300 Interior

6.5/10

“The IS struggles with finding a balance between innovation and complication. Its low ride height and roofline require taller drivers to bend and duck to clear the doorways. The cabin is mediocre in its functional efficiency”- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The interior is as much of a luxury as any German car, though the styling is unique and homogenous to Lexus performance cars. The controls are in the vicinity to the driver and the cockpit styled Gauge cluster on the F sport keeps driver road focused. The seats and comfortable and higher beltline secure comfort for taller drivers. As for the quality, there is nothing cheap or inferior to feel, the optional wood and aluminum earns them more points for the interior. To spoil their customers Lexus provides a number of options for leather and colors as standard.

Majority of the 184.3 inches of the total length is used for the cabin to deliver more headroom and legroom space. However, it’s not particularly a roomy cabin. The front seats flaunt 44.8 inches of legroom space while maintaining the 32.2 inches of headroom space. Furthermore, the rear seats are not that comfortable. The low headroom and legroom figures may fool you for a coupe.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front Head room (cu.ft)

38.2

37.1

38.3

38.6

40.2

N/A

Shoulder Head room

55.9

55.3

56.4

56.1

56.7

N/A

Legroom Head room

44.8

NA

42.6

42.4

44.5

N/A

Rear Head room (cu.ft)

36.9

37.1

37.0

37.6

37.5

N/A

Shoulder Head room

53.4

55

54.8

53.6

56.1

N/A

Legroom Head room

32.2

NA

36.4

35.1

35.1

 

All cars in the lot suffer from the same mobbed legroom however, Lexus got the same issue plus a cramped headroom as well. The front seats are spacious and the interior feels uber, except for the Jaguar which suffers from subpar interior quality. Otherwise, all cars are more of a driver’s car than a family hauler and its built like it.

Infotainment

The feature list might be rich but usability is an issue with the Lexus IS. You get a 7-inch infotainment screen with Lexus’s Enform infotainment system. Other features like 15- speaker Mark Levinson Premium Audi system, Remote Touch Controller, integrated navigation and the all-new Alexa integrated voice control and the Lexus Enform App suit. The infotainment is responsive but the remote controller makes operation difficult then simplified. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are still absent of 2019 Lexus.

Interior Features

  • Front Seatback Storage
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Keyless Ignition
  • Climate Control
  • Turn Signal In Mirrors
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors
  • Front And Rear Cupholders
  • Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror
  • Front And Rear Door Pockets
  • Electric Power Steering

Cargo volume

Practicality on your Lexus is limited to a certain point, you can go shopping, drive around the city with a couple of bags and that’s it. Don’t expect to pack everything and go for a weekender on the IS. The truck volume hits rock bottom on 10.8 cubic feet. The competitors in the compact luxury sedans deliver way more than the IS is capable of. And not just that, the subpar cabin utility also hinders your experience on a huge level. Space endured on the extensive center console could have been used for more cubby holes.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3)

10.8

12.6

23.3

NA

16.1

13.2

Busting all the compact luxury norms the Stinger boasts its 23.3 cubic feet of the cargo bay. Other cars in the competition don’t even touch the 20 cubic feet mark. So, it’s the most practical choice.

2019 Lexus IS 300 Engine

Not all of the 2019 Lexus IS’ multitude of configurations are as well-honed as they should be. The base IS 300 is a better bet than the IS 300 with all-wheel drive, which has the same name but drops in a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 260 hp. It’s smooth, but power delivery requires lots of reving and it uses a less-sophisticated 6-speed automatic”- The Car Connection

Engine and Transmission

The IS might be a compact luxury but engineers at Lexus built it like a sports sedan. It’s a decently powered car but there is no change in the power figures from last year. The Base Lexus IS is rated at 241 horsepower and 258-pound-feet of torque. This power comes from the hard work of a 2L Turbo Inline-4 engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Though the unchanged power figures is a discouraging factor, all the vehicular sense are entitled to a change. You get a more peppy engine with decent thrust and seamless power delivery.

The AWD mode raises the power to 260 horsepower, the result of 3.5L V6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Though the AWD was supposed to be an upgrade it's not. The V6 engine sadly adds 19 more horses while competitors deliver more without any upgrades. Also, you will only witness the V6’s power on high revs. The IS 300 AWD is the black sheep of them all.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

MSRP

$40,660

$43,400

$32,900

$38,195

$46,235

$35,550

Engine

2L I-4 Turbo

Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4, 2.0 L

2.0L I-4 turbocharged

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 cylinders

2.0L, Turbocharged, Inline-4 cylinder engine

2.0-L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

9G-TRONIC 9-Speed Automatic

8-speed Automatic Transmission

8-speed automatic transmission

8-speed Automatic

7-speed automatic transmission

Horsepower

241 hp @ 5,800 rpm

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

255 hp @ 6200 rpm

280 hp @ 5200 rpm

247 hp @ 5500 rpm

208 hp @ 5500rpm

Torque

258 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm

273 lb.-ft. @ 1800 rpm

260 lb.-ft. @ 1400 rpm

306 lb.-ft. @ 2000-4800 rpm

269 ft-lbs @1300 rpm

258 lb.-ft. @ 1500 rpm

To add fire to fuel all cars in the lot feature similar power figures. All have a similar Inline-4 engine, what’s left to consider is the price. The C class was recently revamped with more power and features but its prices 3 grand over the IS 300. The Kia’s Stinger, on the other hand, is priced way lower than Lexus and is packed with more ponies. Jaguar is in its own league with a hefty price and power lower than the Merc and Stinger.

Acceleration

Rather than chasing other sedans like a mad dog the Lexus IS is a humble Japanese machine. Sure its fast, and easy to handle but acceleration is not its best virtue. As you fire up the engine and floor the car, Lexus hits the 60 mph in 6.8 seconds similar to its last year’s performance. The quarter mile figures are not stunning either, the 15 second time for the quarter-mile performance is below average. Toyota claims it go toe to toe with Cadillac ATS and BMW 3 series but in a race, the IS will only eat dust.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

0-60 MPH

 6.9 sec

5.5 sec

6.0 sec

5.5 sec

6.3 sec

7

Quarter mile

 15 sec*

14.1 sec @ 99 mph

14.6 sec @ 96 mph

14.1 sec @ 100 mph

15.0 sec

15.4 @ 90 mph

Engine

2.0L

2.0L

2.0L

2.0L

2.0L

2.0 Liters

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

 NA

TBD

TBD

NA

6.3*

NA

Sprinting is not the IS’s best suit through the competition fares just fine. The C Class and the Giulia are evenly matched when it comes to both the 60 mph test and the quarter-mile run. Then comes the Stinger with its 6-second acceleration followed by the Jaguar’s 6.3-second performance. The Lexus IS 300 comes out as the lager in the lot. However, it catches up to the Jaguar in the quarter mile run.

Ride and Handling

The engine might feel powerless and the acceleration is a weak spot but the IS doesn’t let them undermine its road presence. Behind the wheel, it feels sharp and easy to maneuver. The steering is limber and communicative but loses connection while spiriting and turning on high speeds. On the highway, the ride feels nice and composed but going twisty is not the best thing to do in an IS.

There are 4 drive modes each with their own senses. The Eco mode binds the engine and throttles response to make it an old man’s ride, Comfort or Normal Made loosen the grip on the engine and makes the transmission more touchy for better downshifts. The Sports mode puts the IS on steroids with more engine noise, instant throttle response, tighter steering, and everything you need to counter the car in front of you. A Sport + mode is only available in the F Sports package. The ride becomes more sporty with adaptive dampers and limited-slip differential on the F sports trim.

 Braking

Lexus is known for its reliable braking system and easy to modulate pedal. However, that’s not the case with the IS 300. The pedal feel is short and stiffer than most of its rivals. The front brakes are rated at 13.1 inches and the rear rotor size is 12.2 inches. Being a compact sedan the Lexus is not that heavy, it weighs about 3583 pounds which is a sound figure for a car of this stature.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

Brake Front (in.)

13.1

13

12.6

13

12.8

23

Brake Rear (in.)

12.2

11.8

12.4

12.5

12.8

30

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3583

3500*

3649

3521

3500 lbs

25

70-0 MPH (ft.)

TBD

153ft

185ft

N/A

184*

N/A

Every sedan in the compact luxury segment is equipped with similar brakes, which doesn’t make much of a difference. Even the weight is similar to most of the car, so you can expect a similar braking prowess from all cars. A full deduction of the braking was not possible due to lack of data.

2019 Lexus IS 300 Fuel Economy

The fuel economy is not the best in the world, in fact, the middling numbers will make your choice even more puzzling. With the Lexus, you have a 22 mpg of city mileage which can be expanded to 32 mpg on the highway. Together you can expect a 32 mpg of combined, mileage from the Lexus IS. Similar numbers are featured all across the luxury small car segment.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

MPG (city)

22

22

22

24

24

23

MPG (highway)

32

33

29

33

34

30

MPG (combined)

26

26

25

27

28

25

Mileage isn't the best thing to compare, all cars are efficient and evenly matched when it comes to the economy. However, for the sake of competition, the Jaguar XE is the most fuel-efficient sedan with its 28 mpg of combined mileage. The Giulia comes second with a tad less mileage than the XE.

2019 Lexus IS 300 Exterior

The 2019 Lexus IS demonstrates great attention-to-detail, but its style isn't for everyone- The Car Connection

Design and Styling

When it comes to styling Lexus is all about making bold statements. Right from its colossal spindle grill which looks more like a yanking dragon, to its sharp choice of rear headlamps, Lexus always tries to make a statement with its design. No matter how sharp the lines are its doesn't feel rebellious and conveys its luxury make. The limited styling to the side draws may feel incomplete but it sure brings your attention to its five-spoke alloy wheels. And yes, no matter if you are picky there is an array of paint options like Readline, Ultrasonic Mica, Nebula Grey and more.

Dimensions and Weight

The dimensions largely remain the same for the majority of cars in the segment and the Lexus is no different. You have a 184.3-inch long car, 71 inches wide and 56 inches tall, also all cars share the same weight category. However, the IS flaunts a shorter wheelbase of 110 inches. it can be a blessing but a curse too. The shorter wheelbase gives it a shorter turning radius which aids maneuverability but it also creates a mess on rough pavements, as the cabin jounces a lot till the anomaly pass.

Models

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes C300 4Matic

Kia Stinger

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaguar XE

Infiniti Q50

Curb weight (lbs.)

3,583

3500*

3649

3521

3500

3671

Length(in)

184.3

184.5

190.2

182.6

183.9

189.6

Width(in)

71.3

71.3

73.6

73.7

77.4

71.8

Height(in)

56.3*

56.3

55.1

56.5

55.8

57.2

Ground clearance (in)

5.3

3.8

TBD

NA

 

5

Wheelbase (in)

110.2

111.8

114.4

111

111.6

112.2

Track width (in) F/R

60.4/61*

61.5/60.9

62.8/64.8

61.3/63.9

62.8/62.4

60.8/61.6

The Kai Stinger is the most sizable car in the lot, its 182.6 inches of total length and 73.3 inches of width secures the fact. Furthermore, the large dimensions also make it heavier than other sedans. The Lexus IS feature a smaller wheelbase than the others with Stinger featuring the longest. Other than that, all sedans in the lot are a hardcore compact luxury with the same dimensions.

Exterior Features

  • Adaptive Front Lighting System
  • 18" Five-Spoke Aluminum Alloy Wheels
  • Triple Beam Headlamps
  • Alloy Wheel Locks
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Door Edge Film By 3M
  • 18" Mesh Alloy Wheels
  • F SPORT 18" Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels
  • Door Edge Guard
  • Rear Bumper Applique
  • Body Side Moldings

2019 Lexus IS 300 Safety

Safety is a strong point on the Lexus IS, a rich features list, strongly built quality, and positive rating makes the Lexus worth your money. The last year's version received a respectable 4 star rating by the NHTSA and the highest Good rating for the small overlap front driver side crash test rating by the IIHS. Furthermore features like adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, active lane control and more.

Safety Features

  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Stability Control
  • Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation
  • Rear Height Adjustable Headrests
  • Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System
  • Auto Delay Off Headlamps
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Traction Control
  • Pre-Collision Safety System
  • Front Fog/Driving Lights
  • Rear Center 3-Point Belt
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Lane Departure Warning Accident Avoidance System
  • Front And Rear Head Airbags
  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Front And Rear Ventilated Disc Brakes
  • LED Headlamp

2019 Lexus IS 300 Competition

Mercedes Benz C Class

It's been 4 years that the C class was due for an update but 2019 is the year of hope, the front and rear end were redesigned, the engine was tuned to deliver more power, and a couple of tech feature upgrades. Compared to the C Class Lexus had minor changes this year but its priced lower than the Merc, however, you get lesser ponies hauling your sedan. In terms of practicality, the Merc is the obvious choice. Its rear seats are more habitable than the IS 300 plus there is more cabin utility and truck volume.

We would recommend you to go with the C Class, as it brings something new to the table and its worth the experience.

Kia Stinger

This South Korean sedan is known for its sporty nature and stylish demeanor making it an ideal competition for the Lexus. Compared to the deliverables Kia far outruns the Stinger. Its about $8,000 short than the Lexus and is backed by more power. Behind the wheel, the Stinger is known for its driving prowess and keeps its good road manners in check. As a daily driver, Stinger hits Lexus's soft spot by featuring more cargo volume and rear seat spacing.

The choice is obvious, Kia's venture is lucrative and practical than the Lexus in every way.

Jaguar XE

Jaguar has a pedigree for car making which exudes in every car they offer. Its reliability, styling, and technology are unparallel which is shared in every iteration of the brand, the XE may be its entry-level luxury but Jaguar's entry-level standards are too high for the competition. Lexus IS might be a decent sedan but Jaguar delivers more. The XE is faster, more powerful, and offer more practicality making it a better option between the two.

However, the price is a big factor even in the entry-level luxury segment. The Jaguar is overpriced and interior quality suffers from cheap materials which may divert the luxury shoppers to Lexus showroom.

2019 Lexus IS 300 Final Verdict

The 2019 Lexus IS is what you would expect from a compact luxury sedan. The bold styling on the front grill and brand defining body lines is its superpower. With uber interior quality and comfortable front seats, Lexus IS has got everything right to achieve greatness. However, the lack of punch in the engine is its Achilles heel, the handling is good but not competitive enough to counter a German.

Practicality is an issue with the Lexus, it features the least cargo capacity in the lot plus the rear headroom and legroom make the rear seats uncomfortable for the majority of people. Fuel economy is equivalent to other sedans in the lot. Thus, Lexus IS is a decent choice but as a complete package, there are plenty of other doors to knock.